The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

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    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
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    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
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    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
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    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Floyds bicycling across country 2008.07.16

Written by David Green.


It’s easy to talk about the challenges of a cross-country bicycle ride simply because there are so many obstacles to face.

But it’s equally easy to recall the really good times. The sights, the people, the generosity, the camaraderie.

Three members of the Floyd family from Tallahassee, Fla.—Gene, 38, and sons Stefan, 18, and Josh, 15—are sharing the good times and bad as they slowly make their way acfloyds.bikers.jpg ross the continent, from New York City to San Francisco.

Along the way, the trio is hoping to touch a few lives with their message—raising awareness of the role and the importance of fathers in American society.

“We want to promote better relationships between fathers and children,” Gene wrote on their  Ride for Fatherhood website. “While the kids will be enjoying their coast-to-coast vacation, we will also be talking to as many as possible about how we can make a better world for at least some children.”

There have been a lot of good acquaintances made since the Floyds left Queens, N.Y., on June 4.

“We’ve had a lot of chances to talk to people and tell them what we’re doing,” Gene said Thursday afternoon when the trio passed through Morenci.

The Floyds aren’t in a hurry to get the ride over with.

“Most people do the ride in two months,” Stefan said. “We’re doing it in four.”

They’re averaging only 50 miles a day so far, but Gene expects that to increase to 100 when they reach the plains states.

It can’t be a quick trip for Stefan because he has some duties to fulfill along the way. As a member of the Army Reserve, he needs to put in training. His first stop was in Battle Creek last weekend. Oshkosh, Wis., is next on his list.

The Floyds aren’t interested in taking the most direct route, either. There are sights to see and relatives to visit.

From their start in Queens, they pedaled south to Washington, D.C., and rode the C&O Canal Towpath into Maryland. Next came the Great Allegheny Passage. Combined with the C&O, the trails provide a 318-mile non-motorized corridor from Washington to Pittsburgh.

They logged a few more miles on the  Ohio & Erie Canal Trail, but since then they’ve been out on the road with traffic.

The Floyds often don’t know exactly where they’ll travel until they start pedaling down a road.

“We have a basic route picked out, but we change it along the way,” Stefan said.

Someone might suggest a good road or they might be told about a site to visit.

The hills of western Pennsylvania stand as the biggest challenge they’ve faced (Gene was told by a cyclist that they’re worse than the Rockies), but there have also been broken wheel spokes from the rough C&O trail, a heat wave in New Jersey, dodging storms, and making the adjustments to a regimen of long-distance cycling.

“We started off way too heavy and we’ve mailed stuff home,” Gene said.

They sent a package out Thursday from the Lyons post office.

Gene said the people they’ve encountered have been wonderful and they’ve been receptive to the ideas of promoting the importance of a father in the family, of encouraging harmony between embattled couples, and advocating for gender equality in parenting issues.

“I’m really glad we chose to bicycle,” Gene said. “You’re much more connected to people this way.”

While buying a cooling drink at the Morenci Deli, he had a conversation with a man in the parking lot who has trouble being allowed to see his child.

“Children need dads in their lives,” Gene said.

By the time the Floyds ride onto the Golden Gate Bridge, Gene hopes their story will have made a difference in at least a few people’s lives.

• For additional details, or to donate to their ride, visit the website

Our mission at is best summed up in several simple statements:

   1. To promote effective and responsible fathering regardless of marital or custodial status

   2. To encourage harmony between battling couples for the sake of the children

   3. To advocate for gender equality in parenting issues

   4. To illuminate some of the unique challenges and prejudices faced by single fathers

   5. To show society that men can and often do make effective parents

   6. To educate all that children have a right to a healthy relationship with both parents.

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